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American culture assignment

American culture assignment
This assignment will help you synthesize the course content and apply it for the analysis of the texts. The paper should be approximately 5 pages long. This paper is worth 15% of your final grade for the course (first draft is worth 5% of your final grade and final draft is worth 10% of your final grade).
This assignment asks you to identify some cultural-historical themes in a text that we have not discussed in class. How do the author’s rhetoric (choice of words or images) and problematics (choice of conflicts of issues) relate to the way of thinking in a particular cultural moment? You will use your notes from class lectures to describe the cultural period, and figure out the connections to your particular text. This is not a research paper. You are to use only the primary text (the poster), your lecture notes (for WWII lecture), and the assigned articles (found on Canvas).
For this assignment,
1. Choose one poster to carefully examine, paying attention to the smallest details: color, lines, sex, format, style, rhetoric, etc. How does the poster use color or narrative to convey an image, emotion, or inspiration?
2. Analyze the poster in order to determine how they relate to the way of thinking and to the social changes of a particular place and time. In your analysis, use the notes taken during class lecture. There is no need to search for additional resources outside of those that have been provided for you for the analysis (no extra points will be assigned for it). Read the assigned article for extra cultural context.
3. When analyzing the poster, consider the time period from which it was created. What historical movements or ideas could have influenced the rhetoric used in it? Consider the specific cultural aspect of the advertisement. Is the advertisement trying to sell a product to all American consumers or specific ones? What age group, ethnic group, economic group, or gender group is the poster attentive to? To whom might the advertisement be most appealing? Does this advertisement reinforce dominant ideology or represent a counterculture? If so, how? These considerations should not be answered in list-like format; instead, they should be considered in a coherent essay with a definitive argument and clearly stated thesis.
4. Write a 5-page paper. Make sure that in your paper you set forth:
o Your analysis of the ideas or point of view. (Support your analysis with descriptions / quotations from the text.)
o Your understanding of how these aspects of the text fit into the larger story of the cultural and social surroundings or events (Use your class notes for information).
Remember, it is not enough to summarize or describe what the poster is trying sell. You must also say something about them – that is, you must analyze and historicize it, by suggesting how the content of posters makes sense as coming from a particular time and/or place. Details (descriptions / quotations from the posters) are important in substantiating your thesis statement. There needs to be a balance between formal analysis and cultural context.
Grading Standards
Papers. The following are general criteria that I will follow in assigning letter grades to the analytical papers:
A (90-100 points): Work of superior quality. An “A” paper will demonstrate critical thinking by synthesizing material from the lectures and discussions with your own interpretations of the primary texts. The findings from your own rhetorical analysis of the primary texts will be presented as evidence in support of a central idea. The analysis exemplifies understanding of the connection between historical movements that shape the specific American culture that inspired the advertisement. The conclusions reached will be convincingly argued from the evidence The paper must be virtually free of errors in grammar, spelling and English usage, according to the norms of formal American written English. The paper will demonstrate exemplary organization with a clearly defined thesis that is well supported. Papers will be double-spaced, with appropriate margins and font-size.
B (80-89 points): Work of very good quality. Factual material may be presented in an arbitrary manner, rather than as a coherent defense of a binding idea. Irrelevant facts may be presented, or use of plot summary may at times replace analysis. The analysis may display understanding of the connection between historical movements that shape the specific American culture that inspired the advertisement, but the connections might be vague or not clearly expressed. There may be errors of facts. The conclusions reached may not be defensible from the evidence provided. Important parts of the ad, such as text and language, may be neglected and may not be connected to the larger themes of the ad. I do not consider a “B” to be a “bad” grade. Papers that are seriously deficient in quality will receive a grade of “C” or lower.
C (70-79 points): Work of acceptable quality. An earnest effort that nonetheless demonstrates serious deficiencies. Analysis and serious attention to detail may be completely replaced by description or plot summary, or vague, emotional responses. Statements will be made without analysis or evidence to substantiate them. Improper quotations and unreliable sources are used in content. The analysis does not clearly display understanding of the connection between historical movements that shape the specific American culture that inspired the advertisement. May be poorly organized. May contain serious errors in grammar, spelling or English usage, or may be extremely sloppy.
D (60-69 points): Work of inadequate quality. Demonstrates extreme deficiencies. May consist entirely of description, plot summary, and history, without analysis. May show a lack of serious effort, or may completely ignore the assignment. May rely on secondary sources. May contain errors of grammar, spelling, and usage sufficient to affect the coherence of the paper.
F (fewer than 60 points): Work of unacceptable quality. The principal reason for issuing an “F” for a paper is plagiarism. Papers that contain plagiarized material are grounds for an automatic “F” on the paper and failure in the course. A paper of insufficient length will also receive an F, as may a paper that demonstrates an extreme lack of serious effort.

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